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Tiger to welcome McDowell, Kaymer at World Challenge
Wed, Oct 13, 2010
AFP

THOUSAND OAKS - Tiger Woods will welcome US Open champion Graeme McDowell and PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer of Germany to his five million-dollar World Challenge tournament in December.

Woods, set to surrender his world number one ranking at the end of the month after a reign of 281 weeks, announced on Tuesday 15 of the 17 rivals he will face in his charity event from December 2-5 at Sherwood Golf Club.

US veteran Jim Furyk, who won last month's Tour Championship, will defend the Challenge crown he won last year by one stroke over Northern Ireland's McDowell.

Englishmen Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter plus Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Americans Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Anthony Kim, Zach Johnson, Sean O'Hair, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson will also play.

Two other entrants will be announced next Monday in the quest for the 1.2 million-dollar top prize.

The event comes only a week after the first anniversary of the eruption of a sex scandal that shattered the iconic image of Woods and led to his divorce from wife Elin after admitting to multiple affairs and seeing more than a dozen women claim to have had sex with him during his marriage.

Woods took a five-month hiatus from golf before returning at the Masters but has yet to win an event in 2010.

As a result of his struggles, Woods is set to lose his grip on the top ranking on October 31. England's Lee Westwood or Germany's Kaymer could take over the top spot if Woods does not play until November as expected.

Woods said he plans to play in November's World Golf Championships HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai and defend his Australian Masters title in November. He has also committed to play next February at Dubai.

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